February 23rd, the 300th anniversary of the birth of Richard Price, was celebrated in fine style at the Richard Price centre in Llangeinor.
History shows that Dr. Price’s ideas and political views played an important role in the development of the modern world; his ideas influenced and supported the American and French Revolutions; he was an adviser on the National Debt of the Pitt governments; his mathematical genius was the foundation of the modern insurance industry and the basis for the development of Artificial Intelligence.
He was an advocate of women’s achievements and workers’ rights, and a slavery abolitionist, among his many causes.
The Centre opened at 10 am for an exhibition that had been several months in preparation by the Garw Valley Heritage Society, which attempted to shed light on this remarkable man’s life, from his birth in Llangeinor to his distinguished and often controversial life and work in London.
Doors opened at 10 am and the hall was soon filled with local people and visitors alike, including councillors, community councillors, teachers and their pupils, and photographers.
At 11am, to a full hall,
Gerald Jarvis of the GVHS introduced the first guest, Huw Irranca Davies AM,
who after a short speech introduced a discussion session between Huw Edwards of the BBC, and Professor Huw Williams of Cardiff University, on the nature of Price’s work and beliefs and his lasting legacy.
This was followed after a few minutes break by extracts from a play written by Vic Mills for his Contemporancient Theatre Company, a play which will be performed in full later on in the year in Blaengarw and elsewhere- details TBA in due course.
A further short talk on Dr Price was then given by Martyn Hooper, chair of the Richard Price Society, who answered questions not previously touched upon, such as “Did he speak Welsh?” (Consensus says he probably did as his sisters did).
Thanks were then expressed to Debbie and Tammy of the Richard Price centre who enabled the whole event; BAVO with their support for helping with costs, all the speakers, Kevin Sinnott for the painting from his studio which provided the backdrop on stage, the councillors from Borough and Community, and of course the Garw Valley Heritage Society for the many hours spent in putting the display together.
There were then opportunities for photographs, on stage and off, with much conviviality as everyone joined the queue for a buffet lunch, where the tables were beautifully dressed with vases of daffodils, a reminder that St David’s Day is less than a week away.
Over the lunch period the children grouped together to sing “Happy Birthday” to Richard around a large birthday cake ornamented with balloons, glitter, and his name and “300 years”, a cake that was then cut and apportioned out to lucky recipients!
This was a unique occasion of much interest and fun, and we at GVHS are so glad and proud to have been a part of it. At the time of writing there are many photographs being collected ready for posting on the website, and when available, will be placed for the public to see what a great event this was.